Media Release

Coalition Launching Appeal of Dump Decision

Posted on behalf of CELA's clients: the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition

Jun 30 1998

Kirkland Lake. A coalition of farmers, local residents and environmental groups announced today that they have instructed their lawyers to prepare an appeal to cabinet to overturn an environmental hearing panel's decision on a proposed mega-dump near Kirkland Lake. The 3 person hearing panel issued a split decision on June 19, with two of the three agreeing to a conditional approval of a proposal to convert an abandoned iron ore mine into a 20 million tonne garbage dump. Final approval could be granted by a director with the Ministry of the Environment after further testing of the rock below the proposed garbage pit. The third panel member issued a dissenting opinion, citing concerns about the landfill design and the release of leachate. "The hearing panel didn't do their job," explained Coalition spokesperson Joe Muething. "They were supposed to make their decision based on what they heard in the hearing. They were not convinced, based on the evidence, that Notre's design would work, and so they should have done their job and turned it down". Twenty-six conditions were placed on the approval, including some which require further research before a final decision can be made. Critics of the project are concerned that the public is going to be locked out of the review process, and are appealing to cabinet to overturn the hearing panel's decision to hand the final decision over to Ministry bureaucrats, and to ensure that the environmental assessment process remains in the public realm. "It's pretty straightforward - the hearing panel didn't carry out their legal responsibilities, and cabinet is going to have to uphold the law, even if the panel didn't" said Brennain Lloyd, an organizer with Northwatch. "We're sympathetic to how difficult it was for the panel to run such a high-speed hearing, but doing half a job wasn't an option." Cabinet appeals must be received within 28 days of a panel's decision being released. The Coalition is also encouraging local residents concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the proposed dump to write to the Minister of the Environment and to Premier Mike Harris, reminding them of their promise to a full and fair environmental assessment process.- 30 -For more information:Brennain Lloyd, Northwatch - 705-497-0373Martha McSherry - 705-567-4125Joe Muething - 705-544-8254Rick Lindgren, Counsel - Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284